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Meet Katie Cazorla star of the first nail reality show – Nail Files

Katie Cazorla star of Nail Files - TV Guide Network Katie Cazorla is small town girl who made dreams come true when she turned her passion for all things nails into owning her own salon, The Painted Nail. Not long after, reality tv came a knocking and now the nail world has its very own reality show, Nail Files, premiering Tuesday night at 10pm EST on the TV Guide Network.

Katie and a colorful cast of characters are bringing their larger-than-life personalities to the party and what a party it is. Katie is opening the doors to her salon and her life, putting all the drama, fun and day-to-day business headaches on display. We get to see what it’s like for someone, who started a nail salon from scratch, trying to keep it all together in a crazy town like Los Angeles.

Keep reading to learn more about Katie and what we can expect from Nail Files this season.


Katie Cazorla star of Nail Files - TV Guide Network

Tell us a little about yourself. Were you always into nails?

I’m from Elmira, NY. And actually, my mom is from Ohio, Dayton actually (ed note: Yay for Ohio connections!). I have the small town kind of nice upbringing. There were no spoiled or entitled girls. I have really good work ethics from when I was little. That’s what sets my business apart from the others. Plus I went to nail school and read books and completely enraptured myself in nails.

I went to Sunday school as a little girl. We had to color in these pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. And my mother wasn’t a big coloring book person. She thought it didn’t instill creativity because you are just coloring in someone else’s artwork.  But I ended up putting red nails and toes on the Virgin Mary and putting glitter on Jesus’ overcoat. My mom mom still has that picture. Virgin Mary had red nails because my mom always had red nails.

Katie also had Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls which had mitts for hands, no fingers or nails. She used her mom’s old nail polish to give Raggedy Ann polished nails that dried all crusty on the fabric.

How did Nail Files come about? What is it about The Painted Nail that caught TV Guide Network’s eye?

I opened my salon March 8, of 2009. I didn’t do a grand opening right away because I wanted to work out the kinks. After about three months I thought, it hadn’t burned down or anything, so I did a grand opening. I invited a lot of fun people and asked my boyfriend to invite some friends and there was a producer who came and was like, “I’ve never seen a salon like this. You have a stripper pole and a stage.”

But I said this is my real business so we can’t like eff it up with some crazy show. I want to show what it takes for somebody who doesn’t come from a trust fund or loaded parents to open up a small business and make it work.

What is the biggest factor in the fast success and growth of your salon?

I honestly do eat and breathe nails. I don’t take breaks, I don’t take vacation. I maybe sleep an hour a night. I’m one of those people who really have a hard time turning it off. I feel like if you really have a passion for something. If you can really change the way people view something, I think you can do it. I thought nail salons in LA were really bad. Like what is the deal in Los Angeles? You go to get your nails done and it’s $150 at a spa or $20 and you question the cleanliness.
The Painted Nail salon nail files tv guide network

The nail polish fanatic in me needs to know, what do you have on your nails right now?

I’m wearing Miz Biz, a bright blue named by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, with Stiletto, a black crème, on my ring finger as an accent. I topped them all with Moon Drops top coat which has polka dot-esque sequins and pen point holographic glitter.

So you have a thing for glitter?

I love glitter when it’s done right. When it’s on long crazy nails, unless you physically do nails, I don’t think it looks good. It looks tacky. Glitter looks best on short, square nails with rounded corners.
Katie Cazorla and Walter Afanasieff stars of Nails Files - TV Guide Network

Does your boyfriend now know more about nails then he ever wanted?

Like you don’t even know. He knows what 3 & 4 Free mean. He knows what all the chemicals are. He knows about color choice and layering. He knows about cuticle maintenance and pumice stones. I show him the blogs. He really gets excited to tell people about what he knows.

He’s just a fun guy and he totally gets it. When he has a hanging cuticle he comes in and asks for nippers. He does know the French manicure is dated. He says women shouldn’t do French toes unless they are in porn or are a stripper. Why do you need to have big thick lines on your toes? It looks like a bird claw.

I love that you read the nail blogs and have a love for nail polish as much as you do nails in general.

There’s people who just love polish so much. And then there are people who are like “Hmm, I don’t really care if my nails are done.” I’m like, “I don’t even understand you!” It’s a small thing you can do and when your nails are polished and have a little bit of shine, it’s like UH! Makes me feel so good about myself.

Nubar has a lot of nail fanatic fans. How did you choose the company to work with?

There’s just something about the Nubar formula. It doesn’t smell when you open the bottle. Some polishes, you open the bottle and feel like you are going to die, it’s so intense. Plus I can’t handle it when brands test on animals. It’s the softie animal lover in me. And being at the Nubar factory is like a kid in a candy store moment. You just want to steal. I stole once when I was like six. I stole a Humpty Dumpty punching balloon from Hills and my mother made me take it back. (breaking in) Hills, my mother LOVED Hills! Mine too!

Anyway, getting back to Nubar, I convinced him that I wanted to do a whole line about layering and fun colors. To take what my customers love from the line but make it just a hair different. We didn’t want to go too off the wall. We wanted to stay true to Nubar.

Are your colors are exclusive?

For the signature Painted Nail collection they are different. The brushes and caps are different. They apply a bit differently. It’s more retail than professional. He uses a brush that is more for a nail tech. Our brush is amateur friendly. It’s not a wide brush but it’s a flat brush.

Also the formula is different. We use a lot more jelly base because anyone can do it. You can suck at polishing your nails but if you have a jelly base it’s almost like gel. It hardens and it looks like you got a professional manicure.

The promos for Nail Files mention celebrity clients. I see you have polishes named by celebrities. How did that come about? Do they collaborate on the colors?

I have the colors done in the bottles. When a celebrity comes in. I feel them out when they come in and see if they are into talking about the salon. If they are being chatty and fun I’ll bring over my colors and ask them to honor my line by naming a color. For fall, I have a gray with holographic glitter that Lisa Rinna named Belle after her store Belle Gray. I also have a white called Betty, after Betty White.

Who was your first big celebrity client?

Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens. Ashley called the store and her name popped up on the caller ID. I wondered if it was the real Ashley Tisdale and then she said she wanted to make an appointment for her and her friend Vanessa to come in to get mani/pedis. Paula Abdul and Hilary and Haylie Duff were next. After Hillary got engaged she chose a white jelly base polish, with glitter that looks like sprinkles on a cupcake, that she named Secret Engagement.

You mentioned before that the French manicure is dated so how do you not hold an intervention when the Jersey Shore girls, who are known for their acrylics and thick French tips, come in for service?

When they first came in, I thought maybe this wouldn’t be the best for me because it was all four of them; Snooki, J-Woww, Sammi, Deena and they were like, “Why don’t you do acrylics?” I feel there’s no need for acrylics anymore but they have their style so it’s not my place to intervene. But there really is no need for acrylics. I don’t like the smell, it’s just terrible. There’s soak-off gel, there’s Virtual Nails if you have busted nails. Dashing Diva Vitural Nails is a miracle product. We have people who are diehard acrylic fans or chronic nail biters who have nubs and we put the Virtual Nails with a very thin white natural line and they look like a real nail. They’re so thin, like a contact lens.
Katie Cazorla star of Nail Files at The Painted Nail - TV Guide Network

What do you want people to take away from the show?

I really want people to see what it takes to run a nail salon and all the crazy stuff that is in it. Because It’s not easy to do but it’s easy to start. If you have the passion for doing your own nails or doing other people’s nails or just making people feel pretty you could do this. You could start a very glam nail place and make the world understand that nails is not just a junkie, chop shop. That we matter, it is glamourous. People in the nail world know and it’s time for everyone to see it.

Remember to tune in to Nail Files on the TV Guide Network, Tuesday June 21st at 10pm EST to catch the premiere episode and stay tuned for a fun Nail Files giveaway.

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There Are 30 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Krystal S. says:

    Set it up to record on my DVR since I’ll just be getting back from the gym. I really wish I could go to her mobile spa in Houston but it’s too far (and on 4th of July weekend). Thanks for this post!

    • Brooke says:

      I love Katie so much. There are real and kind and sweet people in LA. Katie shows us that you can be beautiful and not stuck up. LOVE LOVE LOVE THE SHOW!

  2. NailPolishFan says:

    This looks like it’s going to be a really fun show to watch.

  3. Nora says:

    I watched the pilot episode and couldn’t stand it. It just seemed excessively fake to me; namely the driver falling asleep at the wheel and calling 911 in tears, and doctoring that girl’s laugh to have the laugh track play even when it didn’t match what was happening on screen. I wish there was more actual nail talk and less pointless drama and meanness. IDK.

    • jeanette says:

      Glad I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I was really excited for this show but I just found the owner very unlikeable. Was seriously giving me flashbacks from cruel, arrogant bosses of my past. Bummer.

  4. love4lacquer says:

    I am so excited!!! I hope i have this channel..

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I’ll do my manicure with a pretty cream polish and when it starts to wear/chip after 4-5 days I top it with a glitter or holo- 10 days wear, two different manicures from one!

  6. Andrea says:

    I don’t think I get the TV Guide channel but I sure wish I did. This looks like a good show. I love reality TV, so this is right up my alley. Maybe I can find the episodes on Youtube or something one day.

  7. this looks really cute! but i have to say i didn’t know acrylics and french manicures were dated, haha.

  8. Millie says:

    Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!

  9. steph says:

    I am so friggin excited for this show. I just told the hubby to dvr it for me….

  10. Mary says:

    I can’t wait to watch it! I remember shopping at Hills too! I wonder if it’s an East Coast thing (I’m in PA)???

  11. breeoxd says:

    Agh! A fellow WNY girl! I came from a town right near Elmira, so great to see someone live their dream! This interview rocked, keep it coming!

  12. Stefanie says:

    I’m from Germany. Can I watch the show online?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I don’t know if the show will be streaming. They said it will be “on demand” but I’m not sure if that is only through US cable providers

  13. Annalisa says:

    Hi everyone!
    I’m Annalisa from Italy and I want to know if in Italy I can see this reality.I’m so curious to see the program because I’m a manicurist and a nail polish lover.I hope that someone help me.See you soon and congratulations for the blog:)
    ANNALISA

  14. jbrobeck says:

    Hills! I forgot that placed ever existed! My cabbage patch dolls were from Hills.

  15. ach167 says:

    This interview made me automatically like Katie! Shout out to Hills!!! (my childhood school shopping hevean!)

    I really hope she succeeds and this show turns out to be my next tv addiction… and i’ll be painting my nails while watching it!

    And how cute is that salon!?!?!

  16. Aesthetic LA says:

    Being that I live in Los Angeles, I’m currently contemplating booking an appointment for next week. Hmmmm.

  17. PartsGuy says:

    I’ll bet you don’t have many men posting here but I thought I’d put my 2 cents worth in. I just watched the first 2 episdes and I agree with the 3rd post by Nora on this one. I have a good friend that’s really into nails so I thought I’d watch it to gain some insight. I was totally let down. Nothing about nails whatsoever. Just a bunch of drama about running and promoting her business. This show could have been about a bait shop for all the nail coverage I saw. Word of advise: if you want to make a show about a nail salon for nail fans, it might be a good idea for it to be a little (lot) more about nails and less about how stressful it is to run a business.

  18. Stiffchick says:

    I loved the show!! I too wish it was more technical, but then no one would probally watch it. I am happy to know about the new products though. I have psoriasis, and my nails on hands and feet are trashed. I try to file myself and hide it with polish, but it would be nice if i could cover the pits and ridges with something.
    if your nails are not pretty, you dont feel pretty, at least in my case. I cannot belive she had such a bad choice for an assistant! It makes me think I could move to california and become queen lol! Do pepole like that really get hired out there? Im in AZ now, I might have to go out there someday for vacation and check it out!

    Shout out for WNY!!! lol she kept saying she was from a small town known for its prison, and I was like she must be from Attica. lol Elmira is ok to though :) Hills was awesome, I loved getting popcorn and a slushie while shopping with my mom. Ames was cool too, and Fays drug store, WOOLWORTH!!! I loved that place, they sold birds!

  19. Akashagermaine says:

    I was down in L.A. area on vacation the Sunday before the show premiered, so I thought I’d stop by and pick up some new colors. Talk about an awesome salon! It is soooooo cute; my sister is a nail tech up here in NorCal and wants to go to work for Katie. She is seriously a sweetie, and was so excited that ALU had profiled Legendary Lavender. She is a bit unorganized, ran around the shop looking for a bottle of Malibu Dreams for me like a chicken with her head cut off, but is likably ditzy. Love, Love, Love her formula too. Just a note on reality TV: remember the editing that goes into all those shows. Just because something looks one way, or someone seems like the boss from hell doesn’t mean anything.

  20. uuoqru says:

    my friends and i are 100% obsessed with this show! We have so many inside jokes just from this show! we want to go to the solon but we live far away :( (

  21. Summerelli says:

    I really like this show. As a small business owner I understand Katie all to well. Good luck to you! Can’t wait to visit!

  22. Jaime says:

    What is the name of the Nail Stamping machine you have? I saw you use it the night you were going to the Grammy’s. I can’t find one like yours anywhere.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Do you mean the nail printer? I’ve seen them at trade shows and they are very expensive. Like thousands of dollars. Mattel came out with a lower cost version for Barbie that was sold at Toys R Us. It retailed for around $200

  23. feisty says:

    I’m looking for that printer too, expensive or not! If anyone knows which one it was specifically, can they post here?

  24. Irene McDonald says:

    I love your show am watching it in Indonesia I just wish we had it in Australia

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